Details

ISBN-10: 022681520X
ISBN-13: 9780226815206
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 12/06/2021
Dimensions: 8.90" L, 6.00" W, 0.90" H

Thinking Like a Parrot: Perspectives from the Wild

Paperback

Price: $27.50

Overview

From two experts on wild parrot cognition, a close look at the intelligence, social behavior, and conservation of these widely threatened birds.

People form enduring emotional bonds with other animal species, such as dogs, cats, and horses. For the most part, these are domesticated animals, with one notable exception: many people form close and supportive relationships with parrots, even though these amusing and curious birds remain thoroughly wild creatures. What enables this unique group of animals to form social bonds with people, and what does this mean for their survival?

In Thinking like a Parrot, Alan B. Bond and Judy Diamond look beyond much of the standard work on captive parrots to the mischievous, inquisitive, and astonishingly vocal parrots of the wild. Focusing on the psychology and ecology of wild parrots, Bond and Diamond document their distinctive social behavior, sophisticated cognition, and extraordinary vocal abilities. Also included are short vignettes–field notes on the natural history and behavior of both rare and widely distributed species, from the neotropical crimson-fronted parakeet to New Zealand’s flightless, ground-dwelling kākāpō. This composite approach makes clear that the behavior of captive parrots is grounded in the birds’ wild ecology and evolution, revealing that parrots’ ability to bond with people is an evolutionary accident, a by-product of the intense sociality and flexible behavior that characterize their lives.

Despite their adaptability and intelligence, however, nearly all large parrot species are rare, threatened, or endangered. To successfully manage and restore these wild populations, Bond and Diamond argue, we must develop a fuller understanding of their biology and the complex set of ecological and behavioral traits that has led to their vulnerability. Spanning the global distribution of parrot species, Thinking like a Parrot is rich with surprising insights into parrot intelligence, flexibility, and–even in the face of threats–resilience.

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Reviews
"This fascinating and meticulously researched book explores the astonishing levels of cognition and intelligence of wild parrots, especially in the context of their complex social lives. . . . Under [Bond and Diamond's] expert guidance, we meet brilliant keas, cheeky sulphur-crested cockatoos, affable crimson-fronted parakeets, dazzling rainbow lorikeets, adaptable rose-ringed parakeets, and adorable kakapos. . . . This book is filled with intriguing information, some of it new or unfamiliar to those who know parrots best. . . . Engaging and wonderfully-written. . . . Over the years, I have read almost every book about parrots published in the English language, and this is, hands down, the best parrot book published in the past ten years, and certainly one of the best ever published. This succinct and erudite summary of the latest scientific research into these birds' natural history, biology, ecology, and evolution is most unusual because it will be read and cherished by ornithologists and scientists as well as non-specialists, and by parrot breeders, behaviorists, and owners alike for years to come, and will appeal to anyone who wishes to learn more about how parrots view the world."–GrrlScientist "Forbes"
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Details

ISBN-10: 022681520X
ISBN-13: 9780226815206
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 12/06/2021
Dimensions: 8.90" L, 6.00" W, 0.90" H
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